It”s been four years since Eternal Champion unleashed The Armor Of Ire in 2016, but the hype has only intensified with their sophomore full-length. Ravening Iron (No Remorse Records) continues the Austin group”s Epic Metal aspirations as the coarse but melodic guitar work casts a dungeon friendly atmosphere and the vocals forever echo Manilla Road”s Mark Shelton (RIP) with their nasally yet bombastic character. Thankfully, there are enough alternate approaches explored that keep this album from feeling like a retread. Continue reading
Montreal Sludge band Seum release a horrifically evil-sounding cover of Prince’s “The Marrying Kind” – from the album Musicology, as a Halloween treat for fans. The bands’ name means Venom in Arabic and is French slang for disappointment and frustration which is the most 2020 thing possible. The band comprised of three French Doom metal scene ex-pats, living in Canada, and the new cover single follows their recent EP Summer of Seum out now via their Bandcamp.com.
Cortez’s third full-length album shows a certain spark that was merely hinted at the Boston group”s previous releases. This is immediately established with the opening”No Escape,” which comes crashing in with a template more in line with Classic Metal than their usual Stoner Rock. I find myself reminded of Cauldron or Castle as the driving tempo sustains a reverb-friendly production job with a slew of flamboyant guitar leads, gritty bass, and chanted vocals to go around.
Ghost Cult scratched one off the interview bucket list recently by chatting with Andy Gibbs of Thou! We talked all about Thou’s new collaborative album with Emma Ruth Rundle – May Our Chambers Be Full (read our review here), due out on October 30th via Sacred Bones. Andy candidly chatted about writing with Emma, long in the works and put into fruition via Walter Hoeijmakers of Roadburn, how the band and Emma complemented each other, the concepts delved into the album, working with photographer Craig Mulcahy, their hoped-for joint tour and festival plans for the album getting ruined by covid-19, the bands’ penchant for covers and slowing down on them in the future, and what the next phase of Thou music might look like. Purchase the album here and listen to our chat.
Roadburn Festival, largely due to the impetus of its main organiser and curator Walter Hoeijmakers, has often acted as a hub for all manner of interesting collaborations between artists who sit in the arty or experimental corners of the heavy music world. May Our Chambers Be Full (Sacred Bones) the new collaboration album from Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, is the latest creation which owes a debt to the festival, conceived as it was in the wake of the two artists’ joint set at 2019’s Roadburn. Continue reading
When listening to Forgotten Days (Nuclear Blast), Pallbearer’s fourth full-length, it’s hard to remember a time when they were ever this riff-driven. The title track sets an immediate precedent with its beginning feedback transitioning into pummeling yet catchy verses, a surprisingly hooky chorus, and a softer bridge that manages to keep the momentum going. ‘The Quicksand Of Existing’ and ‘Vengeance Ruination’ serve up even more heaviness in the album’s second half with the former’s straightforward chugs standing out. Considering past jabs I’ve made about Pallbearer being one of the most riff-adverse groups in Doom Metal, it’s a very refreshing change of pace.
Spirit Adrift could’ve followed the more accessible bent of 2019’s Divided In Darkness with more of the same but chose to mix things up to an even greater degree with their fourth full-length album. The tug o’ war between Doom and Traditional Metal that has defined their style has turned in the latter’s favor with more songs taking on upbeat tempos. The lyrics have also undergone a noticeable attitude adjustment with a decidedly optimistic outlook and an emphasis on metaphysical galactic imagery. There are enough common denominators to help Enlightened In Eternity (20 Buck Spin/Century Media) fit in with their established trajectory, but it may be their most drastic sound shift thus far.
While All Is Lost (Grimoire Records) is the second album that Yatra has released in 2020, it is hardly a retread of its predecessor. The extreme elements that were merely blooming on Blood Of The Night are pushed to even further extents this time around. The drums have a much more aggressive presence with several busy fills on display while the fuzzy guitar and bass tones are much fuller. It never goes into full Blackened territory, but the more active Stoner-Sludge approach makes their High On Fire influence even more apparent. Continue reading
After a few out-of-genre collaborations with Lume and Catchechism, REZN’s third proper album returns to their signature Electric Wizard meets Elder on Quaaludes style. Chaotic Divine (Off The Record Label) is right in line with its predecessors, for the most part, pairing the sprawling length of 2017’s Let It Burn with the broadened atmospherics and instrumentation of 2018’s Calm Black Water. However, the heightened Ambient and Post Rock influences have resulted in what is easily their most ambitious effort so far.
Having been acquainted with vocalist Brenna Leath through her work with Lightning Born, her new project Crystal Spiders has a comparable grittier approach to Stoner Doom. Their first album, Molt (Ripple Music), is primarily driven by bass-heavy fuzz with songs that range from Psychedelic excursions to borderline Punk numbers. The style is most comparable to Year Of The Cobra, especially with the bass-drum duo setup, but the darker aspects also trigger associations with Windhand and Ruby The Hatchet. Continue reading